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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  June 5, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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it turns out that now just saying you're the real you doesn't necessarily prove anything anymore. consider, for instance, the real romney. that's another twitter account that's live right now. even though it has mitt romney's picture on it and mitt romney's name and it says the real romney, the real romney is not real. the presumed republican nominee is not, for example, tweeting about who let the dogs out. this is satire. the joke depends on you being smart enough to catch on, and it's funnier because it says, i'm real, i'm real, when it's plainly not real. when people say they are the authentic something online now, when people call themselves real online now, are we at a point where that can still be an authentic assertion, or is it always a joke now? it's important in practical terms sometimes. for example, to cover a recent political story, some
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researchers on this show took the good part of a day once trying to figure out how real this youtube account was. rebecca for real, it's called. it says real in that it's rebecca for real, but it's also kind of unbelievable. >> hi, everybody, rebecca here. i'm in the global warming today poisoning the world with my breath. no, it doesn't stink, i brushed. i'm not talking about that. i'm talking about the fact that the epa says what i breathe out is poison to the world. i was on my way home when i saw these two turkeys fighting for real. one has his whole face stuck down the other's throat like he was trying to eat the life out of him. it reminded me of the government trying to swallow every dollar it can. but then i thought maybe the fighting turkeys were more like barack obama and nancy pelosi, at odds over whether to give tax
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breaks to businesses that create new jobs. that's one to fight over. >> so it turns out that youtube account, rebecca for real, it is a real youtube account. it is the youtube account for wisconsin's real lieutenant governor, global warming doubter, turkey fight enthusiast and republican tv anchor, who once compared same-sex marriage to marrying a table, a clock, and a dog. i think you marry the table, then you get divorced, then you marry the clock, then you get divorced, then you marry the dog. she later apologized for having said that. her own uncle said he did not believe her apology and he donated $500 to the democrats running against her in protest of her comments and the apology he did not believe. rebecca is one of the amazing people in the middle of this drama in wisconsin, who has still somehow avoided becoming a household name, even as the craziness of that state's politics has attracted a white hot national spotlight.
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the recall elections happening in wisconsin tomorrow are not just going to decide the fate of governor scott walker. they will also decide the fate of the state's lieutenant governor, rebecca kleefisch. miss kleefisch is up in the recall against this man, governor mahlon mitchell. he's the president of the wisconsin firefighters union. only slightly less obscure than rebecca for real, is another one that's going to be decided tomorrow. he's the state senate republican leader, senator scott fitzgerald, and another amazing wisconsin character. so scott fitzgerald, this guy, is the top republican in the senate, this guy who doesn't look much like him, trust me, is his brother. his brother is the top republican in the state assembly. so when republicans cleaned up in the 2010 elections, the brothers took over. scott fitzgerald took over the senate, and his brother took
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over the assembly. a month into that arrangement, their father, steve fitzgerald, got this wonderful new job as head of the wisconsin state patrol. huh, i wonder who else interviewed? tomorrow scott fitzgerald is one of the four republicans in the senate who is going to be up for recall. his recall election, it's important for a number of reasons. it comes with emotional as well as pragmatic consequences for wisconsin. one, and most obviously, he is the top republican in the state senate and his brother is top republican in the state assembly. two, his opponent, a democrat, has become something of a hero for the wisconsin recall movement for the way she has essentially boot strapped the whole recall shebang. when the top republicans announced they were going to strip union rights in the state, scott fitzgerald, the state senator who is up for recall tomorrow, he was the one republican who had the guts to go on fox news at the time and
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let the cat out of the bag about why republicans really wanted to destroy the unions and why it was so important to them. >> if we witness battle and the money is not there under the auspices of the union, certainly what you're going to find is president obama is going to have a much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of wisconsin. >> if we strip union rights and kill the unions, president obama will have a much more difficult time winning wisconsin. that's the senate majority leader scott fitzgerald and that's what he said in the middle of the fight to get rid of union rights in wisconsin. he said that in the middle of the fight last spring, letting the cat out of the bag. cat, you are free to go. people wonder why wisconsin has been getting so much national attention. i mean, lots of states have warfare, right? why has wisconsin had so much national attention? part of it is in the union stripping fight and the recalls, you can really see what
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republicans nationwide want to accomplish. it's not just theoretical where republicans are in charge. what do they want to do and why? in wisconsin, it is on bright lights display. also you can see democrats trying out strategies for stopping them. so there is a sort of microcosm aspect of what's going on in wisconsin that makes it worthy of national attention. also, in wisconsin, and i don't think this can be overstated, this is a very human fight. and there are all of these fantastic characters in wisconsin state politics. and i don't just mean fantastic at the audacious end of the scale. consider dale schultz. he is an amazing wisconsin character of a totally different kind. dale schultz is a republican. he has been either in the state senate or the state assembly since the 1980s. but being a republican has never been the most important thing about him as a politician. senator schultz does vote republican on a lot of issues in the state, but he doesn't vote republican on every issue. he makes a point, a conspicuous point, about how important it is
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to keep an open mind and how important it is to reach across the aisle and talk with people with whom you disagree about some matters to find areas where you might agree. for example, he has traveled around wisconsin with a democratic state senator named tim colin. they called it their common grounds tour making a point in the middle of this mess about the reason of debate and civility and common ground. dale schultz is not a lock step republican. when his party wanted to strip union rights, he dissented. he said no, he would not join the otherwise united public front against union rights. he said on that issue he would side with the democrats. this is last year when the democrats, you may recall, fled the state of wisconsin to deny republicans a quorum in the senate. the democrats crossed the state line into illinois, and for three long and riveting weeks, they kept republicans from passing their union stripping bill. when finally the democrats
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returned, when it seemed like wisconsin was having the metaphorical, political equivalent of a civil war, there was dale schultz astride the party i did vied, the lone senator to vote against the bill. imagine the kind of will it must have taken to be that guy at that moment in that state. when republicans forced through the union stripping legislation, wisconsin held a first round of recalls last summer. they held them on both sides, on the democratic side three senate seats that were held by democrats got put up for a vote. democrats held onto all of those seats. on the republican side, there were six republican senators who got put up for a vote. of those six, two of the republicans lost their seats. and so it came to pass ultimately that the republicans in wisconsin in the midst of this crazy fight, they lost their majority in the state senate. the majority that they had won in the blood red election of 2010. after a resignation earlier this year and after those recalls, the democrats and the republicans are in a tie in the
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wisconsin senate. and on union rights, one of the republicans is senator dale schultz, who you just met. and he takes the stand in favor of union rights. so republicans are in a tie with democrats overall now in the state, but on union rights, republicans would now lose to democrats. dale schultz, this guy who you may never have heard of, has sort of quietly, through this unique position that he is in, arguably become the single most powerful figure in wisconsin politics. dale schultz is like the swing justice of the wisconsin state senate. he's what sandra day o'connor used to be on the supreme court, everything rests on the moderate shoulders of dale schultz. remarkable character. long time wisconsin legislator, family farmer. he is a member of the wisconsin historical society board of
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curators for real. if democrats win even one of the four senate seats that's at play in tomorrow's election, frankly they can turn down the spotlight a little bit from remarkable wisconsin republican senator dale schultz. the democrats will take some of the weight off his shoulders, i guess. and i know the world is not paying attention to dale schultz right now. the world wants to talk about the recall election of governor scott walker, the effort by democrat tom barrett to replace walker before the end of his first term as governor. no poll since april has put tom barrett ahead of scott walker. but no poll has put scott walker above 50% at all. it's going to be close. it's going to come down to turnout. it looks like it could be really, really close. tonight on the eve of the election, president obama tweeted his support for tom barrett, for mr. walker's democratic challenger. that followed a visit on behalf of tom barrett by former president bill clinton. nobody knows how the results, the ground game, are going to be affected by the policy that in
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cited all of this, that law that decimated the unions. that law has gone into effect in wisconsin and has decimated the unions in just one year, exactly as republicans hoped it would, exactly as they hope it will around the nation, exactly in presidential victories, even this year, even in states like wisconsin. and yes, the world is watching the top of the ticket. for clues about what will happen at top of the ticket in november between president obama and mitt romney. but the vote tomorrow in wisconsin is every bit as much about dale schultz, the last independent-minded republican standing. it's every bit as much about the fitzgerald brothers and whether they get to stay in charge, and it's every bit as much about the lieutenant governor with the poison global warming breath and these turkeys necking violently in the snow. on wisconsin, just one day to go, the most amazing story in american politics in a long, long time. joining us now is political
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science professor at the university of wisconsin. professor lee, it's nice to have you back on the show. thank you for being here. >> thank you, rachel. >> in terms of the ground game, everybody says in a very close election like this with essentially no undecided voters left in the state, with turnout expected to be very high, the ground game of turning out voters is going to be the key to whoever wins this election. do you think that it's going to be a different type of ground game this year than it has been in previous elections in wisconsin with the unions having taken a hit, with so much out of state interest on the right? do you think it's going to be different? >> well, in one sense it's almost like we're going back to the 19th century elections where the only thing that counts is actually voting. i think this is very much a 21st century election in the sense that think about all the social media and the technology they'll be using tomorrow to be sure that mrs. smith votes. if she hasn't voted by noon, if she hasn't voted by 3:00. the only thing that counts is getting people physically to the
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polls, and i think that's why they're watching the weather forecast because they think that will affect the ground game. >> how is the weather going to be tomorrow? >> light breeze, sprinkles, but otherwise pretty good. the conventional wisdom of american politics and wisconsin politics is that good weather leads to sort of casual voters deciding to vote instead of staying home, so they probably break democratic. >> in terms of the democrats, i guess, logistical capacity, it's true around the country, it's particularly true in states like wisconsin, that so much of the democrats get out the vote effort essentially depends on being copacetic with what the unions are doing to get out the vote. labor has been this key ally, particularly on election day. not just in terms of spending but in terms of door knocking and making efforts and getting people to the polls. how have wisconsin unions taken enough of a hit because of implementation of the union laws in the state that we will see a material difference in what they are able to do in getting out the vote efforts?
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>> i think, indeed, if the law were to stay in effect, it's exactly the way you described it, they would get knocked out as political players. but the current union members, the people who were union members last year, are still very much involved. and the ground game is as good as i've ever seen. the democratic party, the barrett campaign, labor unions, the obama campaign have run a really well, integrated, get out the vote effort. it's almost as if the get out the vote effort doesn't involve the kind of spending that scott walker has because this is about people and politics. i think they're really matched pretty evenly for what happens tomorrow. >> if the democrats do win a seat tomorrow and they do take clear control of the state senate, do you see any hope for that body maybe being a means for the party's reconciling? do you think you see anything changing in terms of the overall
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dynamics in the state? what do you think would happen if the democrats win the senate tomorrow? >> i think when tom barrett talks about ending the civil war, he's acknowledging there is a need for a compromise. he's not saying the unions have to get absolutely everything back. in fact, what i think he would do is he would call a special session of the legislature to divide what was called act 10 and a half, that public employees like me have to give more but they give their collective bargaining rights back. so that would be a compromise that moderate republicans could vote for. so the question would be not only passing it in the state senate, but i liked how you talked about the state assembly. are there just enough moderate republicans in the state assembly who would be willing, in a sense, to accept the verdict of the people and vote for that kind of compromise? i think that would end the civil war. >> mordecai lee, professor of political science at the university of wisconsin, every time i talk to you, i always feel like you bring not just insight but a lot of clarity to the issues we ask you about, so thank you for being here. i appreciate it. >> thank you. i'm honored. tonight, a rachel maddow show first. we heard back from the mitt
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romney campaign on a question we asked them, and what we heard back is kind of perfect, sort of. what i mean by that is coming up next. now you can apply sunblock
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they have never before even tried to say, what? or tell us no comment or buzz off or anything before, they have always just blanked us and pretended we did not exist. but today we got somewhere. okay. here's what it's about. back in early april, you may remember the mitt romney campaign trying to turn around its weakness with women voters by playing, i'm rubber, you're glue, trying to make it seem like the obama administration had problems with women voters and that mitt romney did not. the romney campaign convened a conference call with reporters to push that message, and on that conference call this happened. >> the next question will come from tom stein with huffington post. please go ahead. >> does governor romney support the lilly ledbetter act? >> we'll get back to you on that. >> and that was not a trick question being asked by sam stein, that was a question about the first piece of legislation
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that president obama signed into law, a law that gives women access to the courts to sue if they're paid less than men for doing the same work. on the call convened by the romney campaign to talk about president obama's record on women and the economy, the romney campaign had no idea what to say about these first legislation of the obama presidency which was about women and the economy. that was awkward. and the attempt at damage control for that awkward moment actually made it worse. the romney campaign finally did get back to sam stein and the rest of the country about the lilly ledbetter fair pay act, but the best they could offer in terms of position on it was mr. romney would not actively work to repeal the law if he were elected president. it didn't say it he would have supported it, if he would have signed it when it came up, if people who were against it were right or wrong, he just said he would not repeal it if he were elected as president. and i guess that's where the romney campaign takes a strong stand for equal pay for women
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since republicans who did have a chance to vote for that legislation were overwhelmingly against it. then the damage control got even worse after that. the romney campaign then tried to roll out public support from two actual women who serve in congress who support mitt romney, and that was neat. women, look. but it did not help, because both of those women were among the almost all republicans who voted against the lilly ledbetter fair pay act in kronk. and that brings us to today. so there is another equal pay for women bill in the news. it's called the paycheck fairness act, and it's kind of companion legislation. it's kind of the other half of what was passed in the ledbetter act. among other things, companies who pay women less than men for the same work would have to justify why it is that they are doing that. democrats are planning a procedural vote on the paycheck fairness act in the senate sometime this week. and the mitt romney campaign has
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been doing its level best to avoid saying anything about the paycheck fairness act or taking any kind of position on it at all. the washington times reporting last week that the romney campaign had not responded to five messages throughout the week asking about mr. romney's stance on that particular bill. then today president obama brought even more attention to the issue. he made a surprise appearance on a media conference call to personally push for the bill passing. listen. >> at a time when we're in a make or break moment for the middle class, congress has to step up and do its job. if congress passes the paycheck fairness act, women are going to have access to more tools to claim equal pay for equal work. if they don't -- if congress doesn't act, then women are still going to have difficulty enforcing and pressing for this basic principle. and we've got to understand this is more than just about fairness. women are the breadwinners for a lot of families, and if they're making less than men do for the same work, families are going to have to get by for less money for child care, tuition and rent.
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small businesses have fewer customers. everybody suffers. >> the president personally weighing in today. the obama administration clearly and strongly and loudly campaigning for the passage of the paycheck fairness act. the senate set to vote on it maybe tomorrow. where is mitt romney on this legislation? nobody knows. they have been avoiding the issue in terms of the press. we went ahead and e-mailed the romney campaign expecting no response, but we wanted to ask them whether or not mr. romney supports this bill. so we asked them in writing. we said, quote, what is governor romney's position on the paycheck fairness act being voted on in the senate on tuesday? president obama weighed in on the proposed legislation and we would include governor romney's position tonight on the program. thank you for your time and we look forward to your response. we send lots of messages like this. never before, never once have we gotten a response of any kind from the romney campaign. not an answer, not a no comment, not even a please stop bothering us, nothing until today. today we got a response.
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we got a really fast response. roughly two minutes after we e mailed the romney campaign that question, to ask if mitt romney supports the paycheck fairness act, a romney campaign spokesperson wrote back with this. quote, of course, governor romney supports pay equity for women. in order to have pay equity, women need to have jobs. and they have been getting crushed in this anemic obama economy, losing far more jobs than men as president mitt romney will create a pro jobs business climate that will put all americans back to work. a response. we have never, ever, ever, never, never, had a response before from the romney campaign. we always frankly assumed that all of our e-mails just went straight into the romney campaign's spam folder. we got a response. while it was, indeed, a response, it was not actually an answer to our question, though. just saying mitt romney is for pay equity as a concept is not answering the question of whether or not mr. romney is for this bill, for this particular means of trying to achieve pay equity.
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so we tried again. we said, quote, thanks so much for responding. just a quick follow up. does this mean governor romney supports the paycheck fairness act being voted on tomorrow? here's how the e-mail was answered. quote, governor romney supports pay equity for women, period. again, neat. not the question. does he support the bill? undaunted, we sent one last response, one last attempt to try to get an actual answer. i wrote this one myself. ready? quote, thank you. i'll try one more time. should we take this as, one, governor romney has no position on the paycheck fairness act? two, governor romney does not support the paycheck fairness act, or three, governor romney does support the paycheck fairness act? based on what you've told us, our best guess for the governor's position is two, that he does not support the bill. if that is not correct, can you let us know? we have not received an answer
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to that last e-mail. it's multiple choice. i've defined the available options. the universe -- i think we are back in the spam folder. but as if they were trying to replicate the ledbetter fair pay act messaging disaster as precisely as possible, the romney campaign did make a big to-do about elevating representative mcmorris rodgers. that said they were for the paycheck equity even though she was against the act in 2009. on the day, he's being pushed. on equal pay for him, he refuses. he puts front and center in his campaign a republican member of congress who voted against it three years ago. it's almost like they don't think it's about policy, that they just think women like to
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see a few gals around, and who cares what they stand for? the namesake of the lilly ledbetter fair pay act joins us next.
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over the course of her career, a woman with a college degree is going to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who's doing the same work? >> president obama making a surprise appearance on a press call to urge congress to pass the paycheck fairness act. lilly ledbetter is a woman of
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grace and grit. lilly ledbetter, it is great to have you back on the show tonight. thank you for being with us. >> thank you, rachel, for having me. i'm excited to be here to talk about my thoughts about the paycheck fairness act. >> you fought for equal pay at goodyear after you learned that men doing your same job were being paid more than you were being paid. you write about it with emotion and in a very moving way in your book. the paycheck fairness act addresses that specific issue, the issue of how people find out what they're making vis-a-vis their coworkers, literally how you discover you are being discriminated against. do you see it as sort of a companion bill to the bill that bears your name? >> i do.
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in fact, i've heard someone from the american association of women described it as the hammer for the nail that the ledbetter bill was. the two go together. but i really believe had this been the law back in my day, had this been an act that had been on the books, i could have found out from coworkers without being retaliated against. >> mr. romney -- i'm sorry to interrupt. mr. romney, the republican presidential nominee, has not taken a position on this bill as we ended up finding out today through a sort of bizarre series of e-mails in which he said he supported the concept of equal pay but he would not take a stand on whether or not he supported legislation to try to achieve it. if you could have an audience with governor romney to try to persuade him on this, what would you tell him to convince him that this is a good idea? >> i would want to tell him he needs to be committed to doing something for the women and
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their security, because this is so important to the american family because it was like what the president said, there are so many families that the women are the sole breadwinner, and they're the ones who bring the money home, and their pay determines whether or not they can pay tuition and put food on the table and pay the mortgage and all the other bills. it is so critical to the families across this nation. when you talk about women, it's not just women, it's them and their families. and it's a long reach, because when the women are compensated, they spend that money on their families, and it benefits the communities and the state and the nation. and this doesn't belong to either party. it really disturbs me, rachel, when i hear people that voted into office in washington and
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they will vote against something that would help most american families across this nation. it's so simple to me because it is just a tool that these people can use in order to get their pay lined up. it's also an incentive to employers to do the right thing and to treat their people fair and pay the equal wage that is required by law. >> lilly ledbetter is the author of "grace and grit, my fight for equal pay fairness at goodyear and beyond." i have to admit, i recommend both as a story about this policy, but both as a moving and good read. thank you again for being here tonight. it's an honor to have you here. >> thank you, rachel. thank you for all you do. >> thank you. to be clear, governor romney, we tried to nail him down on this subject today. his campaign will say he supports the concept of pay equity, but they will not, will not, say whether mitt romney actually supports this legislation. that is, i think, important
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right now as senators decide what they will vote on this bill tomorrow. it will become particularly important tomorrow once we see how particular republican senators vote on this issue. gail collins still to come. stay with us.
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for an agent, call the number that appears on your screen. last week on this show, i threw down a challenge loudly and publicly on the tv machine with utter confidence that i was likely to win this bet. tonight i'm here to report that not only i lost, but i'm really happy to have lost. the revelry of my defeat, still ahead.
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true or false? mitt romney won last week's republican presidential primary in texas, and in doing so, he clinched the republican presidential nomination. but in that same primary, former candidate rick perry, the former -- current governor of texas, also maintained his undefeated record in texas politics. so mitt romney won the texas presidential primary, but rick perry did not lose it. is that true or is that false? true. rick perry's own presidential aspirations petered out fast and funny with him cuddling maple syrup bottles in new hampshire and ending debate questions by saying, whoops. but even after failing miserably in the presidential race, governor perry managed to maintain his perfect record of never losing in texas. that's because he got his name removed from the ballot in last
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week's texas presidential primary. michelle bachmann was still there, rick santorum, newt gingrich, jon huntsman, ron paul, also some guy named john davis. but not the governor of texas. by making sure he was off the ballot this time, he kept his perfect record. so even occupant -- out of the race, rick perry found a way to emerge from the texas presidential primary victorious, quietly, making a mark, in this case, by not making a mark. most people did not even know it was happening. that's kind of what texas politics has been doing to our whole country for a long time now, influencing our everyday lives in many different ways, even when we don't really know what's going on. as "new york times" columnist gail collins argues in her excellent new book "as texas goes," nowhere is that more evident than with texas pushing really, really big government, as long as we're talking about
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your bedroom. she says, texas frames its political world view on the idealogy of empty places, which holds that virtually any amount of government is too much government. plus nobody needs it anyway because there's plenty of room. you leave me alone and i'll leave you alone. it's an inarguable world view if, a, there really isn't plenty of room, or b, you are not actually leaving me alone. one of the interesting things about this empty place ethos is the that the theory about leaving people alone does not apply to sex. two professors of health education at texas state university contacted every district and requested information about the sex ed program. one of the professors said he was drawn to the subject when
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his students told him they got little or no sex education in school even though the education code requires it be part of the curriculum. also he said, last year a sincere male student asked aloud, what is my risk for cervical cancer? the researchers found that more than 94% of texas public schools give abstinence-only instruction exclusively. students, condoms aren't safe. never have been, never will be, one abstinence speaker warned her classes. an abstinence-only program used in three districts assures them that "if a woman is dry, the sperm will die." which harks back to the colonial era theories that it was impossible for a woman to get pregnant unless she enjoyed the sex. there are repeated suggestions that preparal sex could have fatal consequences. a video used in three texas school districts has a boy asking an evangelical educator what will happen if he has sex before marriage? well, i guess you'll have to be
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prepared to die, is the response. joining us now for an interview is the wonderful columnist gail collins. gail, congratulations on "as texas goes." it is terrifying and a hoot. >> thank you so much. >> what happens when a state as big and influential as texas refuses to accept any funding for sex ed programs, they push abstinence-only sex ed, and do it for a long time? what's the effect? >> one of the reasons i wanted to write this book was because i got to see this video of the texas tribune editor, ian smith, interviewing rick perry before the last gubernatorial election, saying, should we do this as the last state in the country? and he said, nope, nope, we're good. and he pushed and said, we have the second highest double or triple teen pregnancy rate in the country.
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perry said, no, no. we're good. kept poking him. he said, i know from my own personal experience abstinence works. i thought, oh, my gosh. i want to go and write about this. this is wonderful. the interesting thing about it is i kept trying to balance states' rights versus our national interests in texas. the birth rate is humongous because there is a war going on against family planning. the teen birth rate is humongous partly because there is no sex education, there is no contraception availability even if you are a mother as a teenager, you cannot get publicly funded contraceptives. so the result of all this is you have a humongous birth rate, 60% of which are medically funded deliveries because the women are so poor. now, we as a nation pay a good chunk of the medicaid bill for texas, which, god bless, i'm
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sure everybody is happy to do, but i think in return we should get to have a little bit of a say about whether or not there's any family planning, any sex education that really works. >> as you write in the book about that, happy to help. one of the things that had not occurred to me before reading the book is that part of the reason texas is very influential is not just because of the sort of mind meld hold it has on republican politics, but specifically because of its population and booming population, which explains so much of what's going on in texas economically, but also explains why as goes texas, so goes the nation. you're saying that birthrate is a product of texas policy failure. >> yes, even then, on behalf of the rest of the country, i said, okay, texas, if you're prepared to spend a bunch of money educating all of these many, many, many, many babies really, really well, then maybe we have no reason to complain. but they're not. they're cutting back on
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education. the school scores are terrible. the s.a.t. scores are among the lowest in the country. that's 10% of the future work force of america because of the size of the state and the birthrate. so stuff like that really matters to the rest of us. and if texas, which is going to be a majority hispanic state within the next decade or so, if texas can't get a grip on these problems, then it goes in places that it's not good for us to be going as a country. >> how do you have a republican party that seems to repulse most latino voters now, and you have a one-party republican state in texas and you have texas about to become majority latino. how do those three things coexist? >> if you talk to democrats in texas, they're like, oh, yes, next year, it's coming. the fact is texas has, a, a terrible voter participation rate among everybody. and among latinos even worse.
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now they have a new voter i.d. law that makes it even more difficult for poorer people to get in and vote. it's a law in which your gun license counts as a voter i.d. but not your university i.d. card. it's just the way they're going there. what can i say? >> it's one thing to try to not be outnumbered. if you are, make sure the people who outnumber you can't say anything about it. gail collins, author of the new book "as texas goes." i should note, ohio native. >> yes. nobody says don't mess with ohio though. >> thank you, gail. it's the funniest political book of the year. really smart. >> thank you so much. >> thanks. we have a correction to make coming up on the show. it's a more exciting correction than the one i'm giving you right now. for misspelling my own name in our brand new graphics package at the top of the show. the next one is even better. i promise.
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they said it couldn't be done. they said it couldn't be done. i said it couldn't be done. at least, i intimated it would never be done. on thursday on this show the republican party's presidential nominee, i let you know, had told a whopper. a big, fat, easily disprovable lie. a stated fact you could check in the world to see if it was true. he opened up his mouth on thursday afternoon and lied about it. he did that thursday afternoon. thursday night we devoted a significant portion of this show to a hang-ringing, all cap, sweaty, emphatic aggravation that nobody was calling him on this. shouldn't this be a big story that the guy lied? i mean, he is running for president, for pete's sake, and he's lying. it's checkable. it's not even a close one. it's black and white. it's a lie. why is nobody covering it?
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>> an independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded that the administration had steered money to friends and family to campaign contributors. >> that is not true. an inspector general did not look into the investment in solyndra and conclude that the administration had steered money to friends and family. that did not happen. that is a lie. he says something was concluded by an inspector general that was never concluded by an inspector general. it's not true. that seems important given he's running for president. don't you think the can dapt telling a big, blatant lie in the middle of the news sickle deserves a little follow up? yes, it does deserve follow up, and it got some. praise be. this is great news about the news. since my plaintiff cry here on thursday night, news organizations have actually been fact checking mitt romney's statement and calling it what it
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was. they're calling it a lie. there was this from the associated press on friday. romney misses mark on solyndra friends and family claim. quote, he didn't get the story completely straight when he accused the administration of favoring cronies. there was no evidence of family members of top federal officials received any favors. quote, romney hits the sauce again. that was the headline in the "chicago tribune" on friday. it concludes no inspector general has concluded any such thing. there was also this fact check from jake tapper at abc news. quote, this isn't true. the charge is simply false. put it this way romney's solar flareout. he misrepresents obama's green energy program using false and twisted facts. quote, that's not true. here's the headline today at "fortune magazine."
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romney wrong on solyndra facts. quote, it's one thing to spin thing to one's advantage. it's another to make things up to make the other guy look bad. romney's solyndra speech was an example of the latter. disgraceful. i was wrong. hooray! news organizations check it and call him on the big fat lie. that's what's supposed to happen, and it's happening. i was wrong it wouldn't happen. it happened. great news. mitt romney is wrong about this. the inspector general never concluded that energy department contracts were steered to friends and family by the obama administration. that is an untrue assertion, and he has been called out on it multiple places, multiple times. now, a test. next order of business. here's the ad that the romney campaign is still running against the president. >> inspector general said contracts were steered to friends and family.
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>> still a lie whether or not mitt romney says it out of his face or whether or not it's in the ad. shouldn't mitt romney have to pull down that ad? isn't that what's supposed to happen next now that this thing has been called out as a lie? it's a test. total recall. wisconsin voters head to the polls to decide whether to keep or oust their embattled governor. party at the palace. england pulls out all the stops for queen liz bed's diamond jubilee. venus rising. skywatchers prepare for a last in our lifetime celestial event. good morning. those stories and more straight ahead. i'm lynn berry. this is "first look" on msnbc.


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